Wednesday, November 02, 2011


While I was away.
The trees have been stretching
still growing
reaching upward, leaves loosing,
crumbling underfoot,
a minuscule mosaic of crackling tiles
blending with earth and grass
and me
needing this space more than
I knew.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I've been on a blogging haitus of sorts, so once again, pardon my pause.

Spring often brings me full circle and I find myself writing more, needing to come back to this wordy life. Sometimes I wonder what in the world I'm doing, a 36 year old mother of four, finishing an English degree, to what?  Well, as I've said before, my admittedly crazy dream is to write. I am duly self-depreciating, knowing that my dream is a long-shot, so I stealthily cover my tracks lest I end up doing "something else" with my degree.  For whatever it's worth, I'm doing this for love, for love of words and story and humanity, because words and story are about humanity. Books stores are undoubtedly overcrowded, but among the throng are the gems that really say something important about people and the world and life.  If I live long enough or feel deeply enough, suffering or joy, perhaps my words, the ones on the page, will reflect the life of wisdom, compassion and creativity that I long for in my real world.

So here's to life, learning, dreams, the written word, and whatever comes next...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sonnet to Sylvia's Lost Love

Young Sylvia, the earth beneath her soul
And mourning dew all wet between her toes,
She walks beyond the trees and up the knoll
To secret haunts lit by the dawning glow.
There a breeze moves so soft to lift her hair.
There a mist of morn adorns her glist'ning
Gaze, alight with golden rays; eyes aflare.
Yet heart all still, she waits with longing; list'ning
For one soft voice upon the knoll to rise,
Ascending as the breath of fragrant blooms,
For one stayed hand to dry her swollen eyes,
And sooth the ache where lover's spirit looms.
     Here is his hand; it lights upon her cheek
     As wildflowers, sweet balm of love do speak.

R.A. Wittum
August 2010

Ode To a Fairy Wood Beyond the Graveyard

Beyond the graveyard rests a quiet wood
That in the day is still except a stream
Spilling lithely o’er smooth glist’ning pebbles.
Here and there broad footstones mark the path
From daylight to the place where elf-folk play
Lit by soft moonshine ‘neath a fairy oak.
Many a night this sylvan maid joined in
Revelries of dance with nymph and dryad,
Loving the woodland home near as her own.
But youth in time is seized upon by age
And fairy woods where oft’ the maiden strolled
Calls stronger to her own small tow-head sprites.
And sylvan mother treads more slowly now
To honor sleeping souls laid here to rest,
Who walked the fairy trail long years ago;
Mere infants drawn to fay and make-believe.
But stepping ‘neath the leaves time bids farewell;
Twilights filled with child-joys come racing back.
And mother calls to willow o’ th’ wisp,
As little ones step stones to fairyland.

R. A. Wittum
July 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This is the question:
toothpaste smeared on my bathroom sink
This is the answer:
thank you

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reading the master bard this week...

Sonnet 29
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
     For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
     That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

I have relished in reading Shakespeare for class this week...I never miss a chance to enjoy such classics...or a chance to respond in sonnet :) So just for fun, here's my contribution to class discussion on Shakespeare and human nature, by way of an ode to the bard himself, enjoy!

Full many a ponderous work of art I’ve read
From poets lauding life and love and dame,
But the man, the master here with insight led
Birthing poems of human heart untame,
Plunging to dark depths wherein truth doth lie,
Spinning woeful tales of vanity arrayed,
Stripped of throne and mind, then left to die;
Or else compare thee to summers day,
When Juliet fair sun through window yon
Doth lay her Romeo upon her cheek;
Ay me! Romeo in grief sees no more dawn,
And neither she whose love did faithf’ly seek.
     Who else like Shakespeare plumbs human nature,
     Baring hearts, not sparing earthly stature.

~ R.A. Wittum :)

Poetry Wednesday

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On a day when I am uncommonly aware of noses...

My children are home from school today using an extraordinary amount of tissue to blow and wipe and sneeze. I don't usually think much about noses, but today, I thought this poem would be fun to read with my kids:

Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you'd be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place--
be glad your nose is on your face!

Jack Prelutsky

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poetry Wednesday: a hobbling start...

I scoured my poetry books for a favorite to initiate my entrance into this Poetry Wednesday circle. My children had been absently tucked into bed, shuffled off to read and fall asleep. And I settled myself into a comfy place to consider this post. I won't attempt a lengthy prose tonight. I am tired and stillness seems more fitting at this moment. But I will suffice to say that two sets of little girl feet incessently made their way down the steps steeling into my quiet space for their typical delay schemes. Waining patience was the theme of our discourse. And admittedly, I did not feel quite as set on high and lofty poetry after sending my girls off with short words and tears to wet their pillows. We are all in need of a fresh start, a new morning.

Tonight I'll share again a poem written by my daughter, Sophie, on a night similar to this one.

My Mother

My mother puts me
in her warm hands
and I smile.
I love her
more than the world.

She is the one
with the warm smile
always on her face.

She is the one
to smile deeply
until you
smile deeply too.

I hug her
and she hugs me back.
I feel as if
there was magic
in the air,
and there is;
it is the magic
of love

Sophia, age 8

Here's to teacher as student, mother as child. And tender, returning hearts.

Poetry Wednesday

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Palpable Life and Bungee Jumping

I am absolutely fascinated with life--with the experience of it. Not that I am one who lives for high thrills like sky-diving, bungee jumping, eating hot peppers or anything having to do with barrels and waterfalls. Pursuing experience and just showing up are two different things. My main goal is to possess an inner-presence to my own life and to really see the people around me. It means walking slowly, developing an awareness and sensitivity to life.

Stop for just a moment and let yourself just be; silent, still, aware. You'll feel it--palpable life. Let all the other distractions and perceptions drop away for just a moment and become centered on your own being and you will realize that this is more real than the hard wood or carpet pressing against the soles of your feet, more real than the chair beneath you. This is what remains when everything else is gone.

This presence is the truest you, the you aware of Spirit, connected to the Divine. Usually we move so quickly, so preoccupied that we bare no resemblance to our true selves. We are driven and defined by quirks of personality shaped by genetics and environment, yet still imbued with this spiritual self, often squelched by layers of what I like to call "me-ness."

The 'me-ness' is Ruthie. Sometimes I like my 'me-ness', I think she is cute and funny and quirky and clever, soulful and smart. Sometimes I do not like my 'me-ness', because I see that she has a tendency to be lazy, selfish and impatient and too worried about perceptions. Then I fall into that trap of self-loathing and beat myself up for not being a better me.

But if I'm quiet enough, some gentle, Inner-Nudging will push at my pity-filled heart. This is when I remember grace. Divine grace is easy--thank God. Learning to be graceful with ourselves is not. This is the moment when my spirit takes my 'me-ness' by the hand and strokes my worried head. This is when I step back and grant myself compassion, love myself for the silly fledgling I am and open my arms to Grace. I smile and shake my head at my own youthfulness and remind myself that I'm still growing and that is good. In fact, it's a little bit like bungee-jumping.

Life. What a thrill.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Few Words on Dancing and such...

Do you ever dance in your kitchen? The kitchen is the best place in my house to dance. I haven't been great about yoga lately and getting out to walk just hasn't been happening. I am very imbalanced right now, just not getting this school vs. rest of my life thing down.

So this morning, I danced in my kitchen. I pulled the rug back so I would have a nice smooth surface and I danced--okay it was sort of a yoga/ballet/free-form kind of self-expression type of dance. No music involved, just feeling. And it was good. I needed that.

Have you ever thought of how interconnected our minds and bodies and spirits really are? Sometimes when I'm feeling all balled up and stuck, a good dance or a few minutes on the backyard swing , maybe a brisk walk, seems to open everything up. My body, spirit and mind feel energized. My creativity feels nourished and ready to go! And I feel happy.

This whole experience reminds me of an excerpt from a paper I wrote earlier this year about the body-mind connection in learning and the impact of play and the kinesthetic arts (movement arts) have on our over-all well-being:

In fact, movement and exercise play a significant part in whole-body wellness and the learning process. The body responds to exercise much in the same way it responds to laughter, by releasing neurotransmitters and increasing neuroplasticity--the brain’s ability to thrive and evolve through new experiences and stimulation (Weiss, 2001). This is even more fascinating in light of the discovery that movement and thought are both initiated in the same area of the brain. Jensen asserts that even the inner ear, one of the first sensory organs to fully develop, plays a critical role in the processing of movement and balance. He goes on to praise the “values of playground activities that stimulate inner-ear motion, like swinging, rolling, and jumping” for enhancing brain activity (2005, p. 62). Like active play, the kinesthetic arts push the intuitive mind to its utmost potential. Dance, gymnastics, martial arts and theater are all movement arts that make a dramatic impact on the body and brain as a whole, boosting “emotional, physical and cognitive abilities of the student” (Jenson, c2001, p. 76). Movement arts increase feelings of happiness and self-confidence. Activities that involve a high level of stimulation to both the body and mind, accelerate neuron production and improve the student’s ability to learn and retain new information...Kinesthetic arts and play integrate the body and mind, stimulating the production of new neurons and increased neuroplasticity in the brain along with inducing feelings of joy (Jensen, c2001).

Take a few minutes today to play, move, dance. Spinning in circles is also great for the brain and spirit. :) So try it and tell me how you feel!


Jensen, E. (c2001). Arts with the brain in mind [electronic resource]. Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from Ebrary.

Weiss, R. (2001, September). The mind-body connection in learning. T+D, 55(9), 60. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database